MDC-T interim leader Thokozani Khupe has suspended the party’s Harare provincial youth chairperson Paul Gorekore with immediate effect as the battle to control the party headquarters continues.
Gorekore, a former Harare councillor, who recently led youths aligned to the two MDC rival factions led by Khupe and Nelson Chamisa in taking control of the Richard Morgan Tsvangirai (MRT) House, has been barred from using party offices or carrying out party business as the provincial youth chair.
The youths, who took over the party headquarters, which had been occupied by Khupe’s MDC-T through a court order, demanded unity among party leaders, Khupe and fierce rival MDC Alliance leader Nelson Chamisa, to sit down and dialogue in an effort to stop the continued disintegration of the party, accusing the ruling Zanu PF party of infiltrating and capturing the opposition.
In a letter dated September 30, 2020, addressed to Gorekore, Khupe accused the youth leader of inciting youths to take over MRT House by force, thereby disrupting normal activities at the party headquarters.
“Please take note that you are hereby suspended with immediate effect from your position as the Harare provincial youth chair in terms of section 126.96.36.199 of the party constitution,” the letter read in part.
“On Monday September 28, 2020 at around 1000hrs, you addressed an unauthorised Press conference on matters concerning the party. On the same Monday, you disobeyed instruction from the national chairperson to desist from the conduct you were taking. The above-mentioned gave me reasonable ground to believe there was and is breach of party constitution, rules and regulations by yourself and others you are leading.”
This suspension is designed to allow for investigation by the party into your conduct. Should the invesigations prove misconduct on your part in terms of the party constitution, disciplinary procedures in terms of Annexure C of the party constitution will be invoked.
“You are further directed to vacate Morgan Richard Tsvangirai House together with the youths you brought in on receipt of this communication.
“Also note that during your suspension pending investigations you are, barred from accessing the national party offices at MRT House, barred from accessing Harare provincial party offices at MRT House, advised to stop carrying out any party business associated with your position and membership in the party and advised to cooperate with the office of the Arbiter General.”
Gorekore, according to Khupe, breached the MDC-T’s constitution when he on Sunday 27 September led a group of opposition youths from Harare province to forcibly take control of the iconic building.
“On Monday 28th September 2020 at or around l000hrs, you addressed an unauthorised press conference on matters concerning the party,” Khupe further accused Gorekore.
“On the same Monday 28th September 2020, you disobeyed instruction from the national chairperson to desist from the conduct you were taking.
“On Wednesday the 30th September in the afternoon again you made another unauthorised press statement on matters concerning the party.
Khupe added; “From Monday 27th September 2020 your actions have disrupted normal party office activities at the national party headquarters which has effectively disrupted party national programmes.”